I want thank friend and TDA contributor Screedler for sharing this post of two topics- famous alcoholics and speaker meetings.
Stop! – before reading this post please start playing the video posted above. I want to set the mood, then read on.
Speaker Meetings have always been one of the highlights of AA meetings I have attended in the last 4 years. Every last Friday of the month, my home group devotes its entire meeting to a speaker. This can be anyone that has at least one year of sobriety and has a sponsor. In general, they tell their story of “how I got there (addicted), what it was like, how I got sober, and what it is like now that I am sober”. I have heard talks from people with one year sobriety and some from people with 30 years sobriety. There is always an underlying thread that I can relate to. No matter what our backgrounds we all have experience with the same struggle. Yes, there are some that are so rambling, incoherent or self indulgent that it may be hard to take something positive away from the speech …but even they provide lessons on recovery.
Recently, I stumbled upon a speaker meeting on YouTube that I found very interesting – not so much because of the content, but because of the speaker – Stevie Ray Vaughan. Most people know who he is – a musician who is always listed in the top ten of any list you can find of the best electric guitarists there have ever been. His specialty was the blues, and as an alcoholic and addict I am sure he was well acquainted with his subject matter. In this speaker meeting, he touches on all the points above and laughs and cries in the process.
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I have never been asked to tell my story and that is probably because I come across as shy to people who don’t know me and especially in meetings. But I hope that someday they will and that I have the courage to share. It is a blessing that Stevie was able to share his story for both himself and others before his untimely death. But I believe he at least died happy, as this meeting was recorded not long before his death. Below I have posted links to one of his known recorded speaker meetings. This one lasts about 35 minutes, which is about average length as speaker meeting speeches run.
The “gem” that I heard in his speech was that through recovery he discovered that there is such a thing as happiness. He says that at even though he isn’t happy all the time – he at least knows that such a thing does exist. True happiness is real and attainable. He didn’t before and neither did I.
This is one my favorite SRV songs and proof enough that he is one of the greats of guitar – its one of those songs that gives me the chill bumps when I get into it.